If you ever need to know the difference between the people who live in Northern Liberties and the people who live in Pennsport, please refer to this story: When a parent in Pennsport saw a group of “between 100 and 150″ teens drinking on one of the piers south of the Walmart in Pennsport, he didn’t go to NBC 10. No, his story ended up on PlanPhilly, where Kellie Patrick Gates filed a decidedly un-local news-like report. And look how reasonable people in South Philly are!
“These kids aren’t doing anything that you or I didn’t do, or anybody else,” said Pennsport Civic Association President Jim Moylan. But, he said, they are doing it in a much more dangerous area than dark areas beneath I-95. And if someone got hurt, they are “thousands of yards away from civilization.”
This is about as nice as you can be when tattling on teenagers for, essentially, drinking in the woods.
The birds and the bees talk is awkward, to say the least. Most teens are too busy trying to diffuse their embarrassment with exaggerated eye rolls and snarky remarks to actually absorb any valuable information concerning their sexual health. So the Philly-based Family Planning Council’s I MATTER Teen Pregnancy Prevention Project is taking a more teen-friendly approach to the sex-talk. And what’s more teen-friendly than, well, other teens doing the talking?
These kids also had strong family bonds, and they were nearly unanimous in describing their mothers as “good role models.” They also make friends with plenty of straight peers – and most say they feel comfortable bringing friends home and being open about their mom’s sexual orientation.
“We have been following these families for 26 years,” says Dr. Nanette Gartrell at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law in California. “These kids were planned and their lesbian mothers were very engaged in parenting. At the end of high school, the teens tell us that they have excellent grades, feel connected to their families and friends, and admire their parents. As a psychiatrist, I can say that these are the types of childrearing outcomes that every parent hopes for.”
Los Angeles filmmaker Ryan James Yezak has done it again. You might remember his trailer for the film “What Homosexuality is Not,” but Yezak has since worked with teens at one Southern California high school to create a new video project. “I Want to Know What It’s Like” features students and teachers who express their hopes for gay rights legislation in a thought-provoking poetic format.
Do you feel like you fit in? Is there someone you can turn to? These are just a few of the questions HRC hopes to answer in its latest survey of LGBT teens around the country.
Intended to shed a little light on LGBT youth from all corners of the U.S. – and the issues most impacting them – the survey’s designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning.
If you fit the demographic – or know someone who does – please share the survey today and have your say. Parents who are reading this: Consider forwarding the link to your own own child’s school or find out if there’s a local GSA in your district. The results will be used by organizations around the country to better serve LGBT youth.
Taking a page from the “It Gets Better” book, a group of LGBT teens from the Midwest created a video in which they address their 4o-year-old selves. The young advocates from the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance talk about everything from their hopes and dreams to coming out and bullying, but all seem to envision a world where hate seems more like ancient history in this moving, incredibly honest video.
Kids who are being bullied may rarely think they have a voice. But thanks to a new T-shirt company, tweens and teens have another way to speak out about LGBT issues that are important to them.
H8SUK introduced a new line of merchandise that talks frankly about being gay, being bullied and wanting equality regardless of sexual orientation or gender. The goal, says the company’s mission statement, is to encourage kids to stand up for themselves and each other using fashion.
“We are recruiting kids to the cause of promoting the acceptance of homosexuality in schools,” says Luke Montgomery, director of a new H8SUX video about the company’s T-shirt campaign. “In a world full of bullies, suicide and hate, thousands of school kids wearing a pro-gay message in classrooms can be lifesaving and great. Kids are born gay, lesbian, bi and trans – and when I came out at 15, I was brutally beaten and left unconscious and bloody in a ditch. In 2012, kids should not be bullied and attacked just for being who they are.”
Ellen DeGeneres spoke up this week about a new documentary that takes a close look at school bullying. Bully not only talks to survivors of the abuse, but also families who lost their children after being mercilessly harassed, in many cases, for being gay.
Trouble is the Motion Picture Association of America has slapped a surprising R rating on the film, making it impossible for schools and teens under the age of 17 to actually show or see the film. That’s why there’s a petition asking for the rating to be downgraded to PG-13 since, after all, the content of the film speaks to young people well under 17 who would hardly be shocked by the slurs used in the movie to describe the torment being faced my many American students today.